Monday, December 15, 2008

Great Chinese Food in Brickfields

When my dad first told me about a famous Chinese shop that serves excellent steamed fish in my new neighbourhood I doubted him a little…why would a well-known Chinese restaurant be in Brickfields of all places?!? That’s like having a great Indian shop in Chinatown. Soon enough I started hearing it from everyone…friends, colleagues, even random individuals…and this is when I knew I had to try it out!

The moment I stepped in I could tell that this was the spot to be. The place was packed with many individuals sharing a table just to get a bite to eat. The minute we managed to snag a table I turned to the Auntie and asked her to bring us a few of the specialties. This included a whole steamed catfish with pounded ginger, a large bowl of sambal prawns(prawns cookes in a fragrant chilli paste), a thick egg fu yong, sweet and sour pork and the special bean curd. We also added on an order of garlic kailan and kangkung belacan…after all no meal is complete without veggies!

A steaming hot serving of sambal prawns started off the show and at RM15 they were a steal. Portions here are surprisingly generous with fat juicy prawns slathered in a thick sambal paste threatening to topple out of the bowl. These were very tasty without being too spicy and the sauce makes for a delicious gravy on the plain rice.

Next up was the egg fu yong a type of omelette studded with Chinese sausage and onions. I don’t generally like eggs unless they’re scrambled and served for breakfast but I must say I enjoyed this dish. The egg was light and fluffy and the sausage added a pleasant unexpected flavour which pulled it all together.

The special bean curd is served in a thick sauce with snap peas, carrots and cabbage. The tofu is silky smooth but lacks a bit in taste so I ended up using some soy sauce and chopped fresh garlic to add to it. The snap peas however, had a great crunch and sweetness that went well with the tofu.

Our group enjoyed the sweet and sour pork as it was crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Some places have the tendency of having more batter on the pork than is necessary but here the pieces are perfectly covered and deliver just the right amount of crunch.

The kailan with garlic was good with a nice leafy crunch and large pieces of tender garlic but I did not enjoy the kangkung as much and I normally would. I found the belacan paste a bit on the sweet side. I suppose this is a matter of preference though as I enjoy a spicy savoury kangkung.

And finally…the piece de resistance…the fish! It was fleshy and firm and fragrant with ginger and soy. I especially liked that it was topped with a handful of cilantro as this added a nice peppery zing. This was so delicious that one member of my group actually started using his hands to pick at the bones and finish every last bite. Can we say finger licking good?

All in all Sin Kee offers diners a hearty Chinese meal at very reasonable prices. If you don’t want to wait to be seated I would suggest getting there right around six for an early dinner. This is a neighbourhood restaurant I will surely make weekly trips to.

Sin Kee
Jalan Tun Sambanthan

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